Processing The Death Of A Loved One

Many of you know that satori had a death in her family last week and while we’ve not talked about it extensively, I am pretty sure the conversations we’ve had have been significant and important.  Satori and I met over a death (Tale of Two Pisces). She’s had quite a few people die around her since, including a very young women taken by cancer and more than one murder. Point here is I have some idea how she deals with death but this time is different.

I mentioned this to husband, who has seen way more than his share people dead and dying in a wide variety of circumstances.   He said that each death was different and you don’t necessarily know how you’re going to react.  I am sure this is correct.

Historically, I have not dealt well with death but in the last five years I’ve done better. I’ve just had to come up with a philosophy what would allow me to reasonably cope because I just could not afford to go down the way I did in my 20’s – I have a son for one thing.  But I have definitely seen people who are older (40 +) go down and become inconsolable over a death.  Matter of fact, I have seen people lose years of functioning over a death, as well as whole families come apart, perhaps permanently.

Based on this, I keep a close eye on people who have a loss in their life because I know a person can be wiped out.  Also because of this, I have worked very hard to come up with and put in place, a belief system that will allow me to process loss of life when it occurs.

What are your experiences processing death?  Got any tips or words of wisdom?

pictured – The funeral of Shelley’, Louis Edouard Fournier, 1889

32 thoughts on “Processing The Death Of A Loved One”

  1. I have Saturn in the 8th, and it aspects everything in my chart. Lots of deaths. I try to think of where the grief is going to land on my body. My body is a map of grief. Charting it has helped me understand and cope with chronic pain.

    1. I have saturn in my 8th house too, squaring 5 planets in the 5th. I carry loss with me forever too. I try to make it a positive by thinking it is just part of who I am and my lifes experiences. Though some airy types think I should just lighten up.

  2. I’m fairly okay with it, but others around me are not. There was a rash of deaths a couple of years ago and I had to stop talking about it, when a friend said “Maybe I shouldn’t be around you–am I going to die, too?” You definitely start to feel privy to something.

  3. I’ve no words. Maybe ask Satori what she needs? And please, if there’s anything, let us know what we can do to help.

  4. Well I too am beginning the process of processing a death to come. My 89 year old father ask me to put him into hospice care Friday the 20th of May. We don’t expect him to live past Memorial day. I cared for my mother till she passed she has Pancreatic/Liver cancer we had her for 8 months from diagnosis to the end this was in 2009. It was an honor so have gotten to care for her. She and my father were married 54 years at that point. She was and is the love of his life. He told me he was tired of the fight and ready to go home to be with mother. I am good with that he has missed her so very deeply.

    In my belief system I believe that everything has a time or a season. I believe that when that time comes it is cruel to keep a person here because I will miss them. Rather selfish thing to do on my part. Besides they will be pain free and still love me as I will them. All I have to do is say I love you and they will hear me. Am I right or wrong I do not know but it is my belief.

  5. lbetters that is so kind (((you)))

    I’m different than you because I still miss, will always miss, but I don’t feel I’m selfish for missing. I’m just a ‘missing’ kind of person. I still miss my aunt, even though she doesn’t want me to spend my time missing!

  6. The less you can say, the more it means. Presence is key. This is my advice for interacting with someone who is dealing with the death of a loved one.

  7. @lbetters… you are 100% right on in your beliefs. Thank you for sharing. So many people need to know that death is a passing back into where we all have come from, and that it is truly not the end, because every one of us is eternal. We always have been and always will be. And love is eternal too!


  8. I agree with lbetters and norah – this place we call Earth is just a stopping off point. And, of course, all you have to do is think of them and there will “hear” you…

    To me that is the best way to remember someone and keep their spirit alive.

  9. I dunno, for me they’re all pretty much the same. But my family dies very slowly over a 10 year period, so you get used to the idea, you stop being able to have conversations with them years before they die, and it’s a relief when they finally go. I can’t be all, “oh, so sad, they died of Alzheimer’s” by the time they have actually technically died. The sad was the 10 years before that.

    I also can’t be the one who “goes down” because I’m the only sane one. Good thing so far I haven’t.

    I haven’t experienced the sudden death of someone I was close to, though. I figure that would mess up anybody horribly, immediately, and for life.

  10. Everyone I know has died fairly quickly. My Grandfather’s in thier sleep, my Grandmother in her sleep. One of my Uncles had Cancer but he went pretty quickly too. A good friend from childhood was murdered. Because of this I have never dealt with long drawn out scenarios. The impact was sad and deep. I have had times where I try to imagine what it was like for them. This is very hard to really imagine though. Now I think of all of them in their best light. I connect to that.

  11. {{Satori}} I hadn’t heard – my condolences to you. Glad you are doing OK.

    As far as the original question my experiences are inconsistent. I am not given to being overly emotional about anything, and death is much the same. I think I might appear callous, but I’m not – I’m just not affected by it the same as folks around me are.

    Then again, I tend to be the rock anyway, so I suppose that’s not inconsistent at all.

  12. I used to take death very,very hard. My spiritual beliefs have me believe that we will all meet again in some form.

    Satori-Every blessing to you in this time of transformation.


  13. i dunno. i went through a two-four year period of death death death. from children to elders. from slow to quick. by biggest thought on death is that i wish our (north american) society had a healthier attitude towards it. i was also blessed by a best friend who was an undertaker of a revolutionary kind when all this death started hitting in my life. he was a huge anchor. a huge realistic saturn figure. a solid man that turned fragile and died last year. what a gift of a man to everyone needing whatever it is they needed in such difficult moments.

    a soft hug to you, satori.

    and thanks for sharing those stories, elsa.

  14. My dad died when I was 17, a 19 yr old nephew a few years later, of course grandparents who were old– well, I always think that there are still a lot of people around and that comforts me. Besides the fact that it’s inevitable, I figure they are all a lot freer from pain and suffering than we are– so they “made” it, they got to a better place. There is some peace to that.

  15. Avatar
    Stellium in Taurus

    My family was torn apart after my step dad got sick and died a few years ago. I don’t any of us realized how much he was the glue of the family. When he died things just disintegrated, especially between my mom and sister.

  16. So here are my death/life anew experiences for what they are worth.

    I was very very close to my paternal grandmother. When she died, it was the darkest moment of my life. Except that she came back – in my dreams. But not my dreams, because I could feel her skin, smell her – both her perfume and the listermint for her dentures :-), feel her breath on my skin, hear the cadence of her voice, details that I just didn’t experience in my regular dreams. About once or twice a year I have these experiences. But I still chalked it up to being my dreams.

    Then my other grandma was dying. I went to her in the ICU. I was warned that she was hallucinating and talking to dead relatives. It was my turn to stay with her while my mom and aunt got lunch. Although my grandma was German heritage, she never learned more than “danke schoen.” Her parents and grandparents wanted the children to be American and wouldn’t teach them a word of German. But I learned German in school. So my grandma in the ICU started having a “conversation” with her dead grandma while I was there. Except her grandma was speaking in German! She said “grandma, I don’t understand – I don’t speak German.” But her grandma wouldn’t speak English so my grandma finally said “Jeannie will you translate for me.” So I did. And she was happy. When my mom and aunt came back and asked me if my grandma had been hallucinating at all, I said “I don’t think she is hallucinating….”

    And shortly after the solar eclipse in January, which opposed my dad’s moon, he passed away. I took comfort in solar eclipses meaning new beginnings and I hoped that for him, it was a wonderful new beginning. At the minute of last week’s full moon, my dad came to me, just like his mom does for me – in my dreams. But not a dream. I felt his skinny arms, felt his breath on my skin, heard the cadence of his voice and had a very nice, if not short, conversation with him. He’s happy.

    And so am I.

  17. It’s just so hard. When Mom died I just fell apart. I wasn’t so bad with my grandparents. But when my cousin died(he is a year older)I just had a moment.

    I absolutely believe in a form of the next life it’s just those weird times when you forget and try to contact them here and now.

    Hugs to all those who have lost someone

  18. I think everyone copes differently, and that there is not a ‘right’ way or a ‘wrong’ way to process grief, and that there is no deadline.

    In my case, I initially am very sad, especially the young ones that have gone… But, life must go on. I concentrate on the happy memories, the gift of having known them (physically). I still talk to my loved ones and feel their presence from the other side (my personal guardian angels) and yes, I miss them from time to time…

    ((hugs to all those that have lost someone))

  19. I agree with CArRiE –

    “I think everyone copes differently, and that there is not a ‘right’ way or a ‘wrong’ way to process grief, and that there is no deadline.”

    For me, death is kind of like a fan. When it’s off (read – on this physical plane) – you can see the blades. But when you turn it on full speed (raise the vibration, or pass into a higher realm) – you can no longer see the blades. It doesn’t mean they aren’t there – they are. You just can’t see them.

    When I grieve, I grieve for the physical – being able to touch, to feel them. But all those I’ve been close to are still in communication, in presence. I see them, and hear them.

    And when their life has been painful, full of illness, or simply well lived and it’s time to go? I’m really, really happy for them.

    Just sad for myself, being human.

  20. My mother died two years ago. She was a force of nature and we had a terrible relationship. I was simultaneously terrified to lose her — more terrified really that I would screw up taking care of her while she died and she would complain (which she did) — and surreptitiously hopeful that my life would be better when she was gone.

    Mostly the sorrow has to do with the fact that our relationship was so bad and that I disappointed her so deeply. I think the sorrow of that carried over to the sorrow of her death, because that’s all I feel now. If we had had a happy, helpful association I would have nothing to grieve. Eighth house — gotta die sometime. It’s the quality of the life, and the death, that matters.

  21. My parents both died in the past two years; they were very close and married 62 years. What I have appreciated are the friends who stood by, understood the process and allowed me to slow down and recover, because your life will never be the same and you will completely change. What surprised me was a couple of people who I thought were close friends over a long period who either disappeared or said unusually horrible things that I couldn’t reconcile, even though I had decided not to lean on any one person too much. Sometimes people will react that way because your personality is not carrying its usual buoyant expression.

  22. I have had hospice in my home as I cared for my grandmother and grandfather (COPD and lung cancer, respectively) this months after the passing of my mother. My best advice for a caregiver — take care of yourself. Remember to sleep and eat (because it is easy to forget). Yes, Elsa, it can and does wipe a person out.


  23. Just love, and listening.

    Reading the comments here, I am struck by how there is so much wisdom.

    Satori, all good things to you.

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